Plans For Villa Magna Luxury Condominiums Revived
Written by Yudislaidy Fernandez on June 26, 2008
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
Development of Brickell’s last prime bayfront parcel is on hold after developers scrapped a planned luxury hotel and reverted to high-end condos once the market improves.
Jerome Hollo, vice president of Florida East Coast Realty, said plans now are to revive the luxury condominium concept for Villa Magna on the 2.5-acres at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive. The design is for two 60-story towers totaling 787 units, along with restaurants and retail on ground levels, he said.
The departure of Spanish investors Grupo Pedro Iglesias from the project led to killing the hotel plans and reviving the condo component, Mr. Hollo said. The investors liked the hotel concept, he said, but couldn’t secure the capital to participate. "They just weren’t in a position to execute this type of project."
Grupo Pedro Iglesias hasn’t entirely given up on helping to develop Villa Magna as a hotel, said Juan Bartolomé Seguí, group stakeholder and project architect. His group has $161 million in capital but needs about 50% more financing to solidify its offer, he said in a phone interview from Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
"It’s our star project and we want to continue with it."
Bruno Opt, chief operating officer for the group, said the extra financing is key. "It’s a tough time at the moment," he said from Spain.
Miami developer Tibor Hollo originally planned Villa Magna as high-end residential. In September, plans shifted again when he sought city approval for a mixed-use component to feature the hotel, restaurants and retail.
The Hollos said timing of the project will hinge on when the market rebounds.
"It’s certainly the best piece of land; any project will do wonderful," Jerome Hollo said. "But it’s got to be the right time."